Since 2007, May has been coined Disability Insurance Awareness Month (DIAM), a time when the insurance industry and the Council for Disability Awareness aim to help people understand the importance of income protection.

“More than a quarter of 20-year-olds will experience disability for 90 days or more before they reach 67.”

Everyone wants to avoid thinking they will be part of that worst-case scenario, but it’s a reality for many people. Short-term and long-term disability insurance are the two basic categories, and they can either be provided through an insurance agency or an employer.

For most Americans, the ability to earn an income is one of their greatest assets.

DIAM is one factor that has positively influenced disability insurance trends in recent years. As of 2017, there was a 2.2% growth in the disability insurance agency since 2012, meaning it was a $19 billion industry last year (and growing).

In addition to heightened awareness, the size of the workforce also plays a role in creating opportunities for the disability insurance industry to expand. Since 2010, the U.S. unemployment rate has been steadily falling, and it is now at a low of 4%. More employees in the workforce mean more policies, even if the percentage of people covered by disability insurance remains stagnant.

One factor that could potentially have a negative effect on the disability insurance industry is the number of motor vehicle accidents each year. An accident can injure drivers, passengers and bystanders, leaving them to miss work for an extended period of time. In the coming years, the number of motor vehicle accidents is expected to decline. While that is overall a positive thing for our country’s safety, it could be a small threat to the disability insurance industry.

However, that potential threat should be compensated by the massive amount of outreach being done by various groups to help raise awareness about insurance. Especially fueled by the Disability Insurance Awareness Month initiative, there has been an increased number of companies and organizations posting about disability insurance on social media. In today’s era, this is one of the most effective ways to reach a broad market, especially millennials who are beginning to make up a greater percentage of the workforce.

While no one wants to be in a situation that requires them to need disability insurance, it is sometimes a part of life. The recent industry trends indicate that the disability insurance industry will continue to grow at a strong rate for years to come.